Sparrow receives $586,000 to expand virtual services between hospitals

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Sparrow Hospital has received a $586,000 federal grant to purchase telehealth equipment to help expand patient access and cutting-edge medicine for areas served by our community hospitals in Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia and St. Johns.

Sparrow was one of 62 healthcare facilities nationwide to receive funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) during the second round of its COVID-19 telehealth program.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to health care has proven to be not only a national problem, but a local one as well, and it is imperative that every community be provided with the tools to access this care from safest and most efficient way possible,” said FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel.

The funding will be used for video connections between Sparrow’s various sites, virtual stethoscopes and more.

The funds are targeted to rural areas and aim to create ways for patients to connect with their clinicians virtually without leaving their homes.

The added virtual care will allow patients to align with Sparrow’s mission to keep care close to home.

Going virtual has become a major way to connect and stay engaged since the pandemic.

Currently, Sparrow averages 3,000 video visits per month.

Before the pandemic, the only way for patients to receive care was to physically go to an office. The hospital has now adapted by offering several options such as a phone visit, video visit, e-visit submission or Sparrpow messaging to be diagnosed and treated without leaving home.

Health officials say a virtual visit is important because it helps reserve a spot for a more seriously ill patient.

Perry A. Thomasson